Saturday, April 11, 2009

O.V. Wright - "Monkey Dog" (Back Beat)

Sorry it's taken me so long to post something on this blog, as life can sometimes get in the way of a good thing. With that in mind, here comes a solid, super-speed pressure cooker from a man better known for his deep soul sides. I'm talking about O.V. Wright and on this one, he combines two dances to make one. It's another dance craze song that didn't quite make it but left behind a swell kicker of a song nonetheless. Dear reader, I give you "Monkey Dog."
Here's what Wikipedia had to say: O.V. Wright was born October 9, 1939. He was discovered as a gospel singer along with James Carr by a songwriter and manager named Roosevelt Johnson. His first recording was in 1964 called "That's How Strong My Love Is," which was later recorded by such perenials as Otis Redding. Due to a contractual obligation to a previous manager, Don Robey, Wright began recording for Robey's Back Beat label for which he would score R&B hits like "You're Gonna Made Me Cry," "Eight Men, Four Women," "A Nickel and a Nail" and "The Ace of Spade." He was imprisoned in the mid 70s for narcotics offenses and his recording career, despite recording for the legendary Memphis label Hi Records, never recovered. A continuing drug problem weakened his health and led to his death by a heart attack at age 41.
Now, that's only a sketch of Wright's incredible career (and due to Wikipedia's reputation for "accuracy" may not be entirely reliable). Therefore, I direct you to Red Kelly's websites "The A-Side," "The B-Side" and "Soul Detective" for more in-depth coverage of his music and life. The links are provided at the right of this blog.
"Monkey Dog" is the B-side of Wright's first R&B hit "You're Gonna Make Me Cry" in 1965. If you only know Wright's slower sides, this one is a more uptempo number than you may be used to, but Wright did justice on faster numbers like "Baby Be Mine," too, and this one's kind of in that realm. Check it out for yourself. (I must warn you, however: the copy used here is a little rough.)


Todd Lucas said...

Yep, that rough copy is mine and I have to apologize for it. Wish I had a better copy of this. Great record!

Posi Jeff the Record Guy said...

its a little rough, but still a great listen